Concerns over current nursery place provision

Parents trying to find a nursery place for their children have been informed that there are no places left in Brechin.

Claire Brown had hoped that her son would begin nursery in March but claims she has since been informed that all four nurseries in Brechin are full, meaning he will not get a place until August.

Claire said: “I have had my son’s name down at one of the four nurseries for roughly the last year. ‘Rules’ are you can only apply for one at a time.”

Claire has been informed that her son could get a nursery place outwith Brechin.

“I spoke to the education department on Thursday and was told they could maybe get my son a place in Forfar or Montrose but I don’t drive so it would be a small fortune travelling through and back twice a day.

“Also when it came to school time he would not know anyone at Brechin as his pals would be in another town.

“He is from Brechin. He should go to nursery/school in Brechin.

“Apparently it’s all to do with money for more teachers, etc. So basically what they are saying is they would rather save money then my child’s shocking!”

Another parent who struggled to get a place at a nursery for her child was Suzanne Scott whose son had to wait five months from the date he was due to begin nursery to actually starting.

“My child was supposed to start a school nursery place in March last year. He never got a place until August.

“I’m so glad I put him to a playgroup but not in this town, it’s crazy!

“We get funded for their place but not petrol.”

However, she claims there may soon be places available following a change in the rules for deferring when you child starts school.

“It is more difficult for you to defer your child from going to school if their birthday falls in the cut-off dates for school.

“There should be loads of places soon. There will be loads of four-and-a-half-year-olds going in to primary and who only got a year at nursery.”

Wendy Adam’s three-year-old daughter should have had a place at Andover Nursery in November but has been told she may have to wait until August before a place becomes available.

If she gets a place in August she will have a year of nursery before starting school when she is four years and nine months.

“I am lucky enough to have got Shauna a funded place for three two-and-a-half hour sessions a week at New Friends nursery but I ideally want her at Andover as she will be going to school there.

“My five-year-old started at Andover nursery when she was three and had a year of afternoons and a year of mornings and then was more than ready for school but Shauna won’t get the opportunity to do that.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The council is aware of the situation in Brechin, where one of the main issues is that there are no playgroups which provide an additional pre-school resource like in every other burgh in the county.”

However, it was confirmed by the council that there were no changes to the to the rules or policy with regard to deferring entry to P1.

School commencing arrangements at Angus Council state a child must commence school on the first school entry date following her/his fifth birthday.

Children whose fifth birthday falls on or before the last day in February may begin to attend school from the previous August when they will be approximately four-and-a-half years old, or alternatively, parents may delay their enrolment until the beginning of the next school session when their child will be approximately five-and-a-half years old.